Last night Leeds lost to St Helens in a superb Grand Final at Old Trafford but today the Rhinos gained a measure of revenge in an amazing academy Grand Final.
In a role reversal of last night’s Super League Grand Final, it was Leeds who struck early in the academy Grand Final. After a St Helens knock on Alfie Edgell and Kai Morgan combined to create a try for Jack Smith with the centre running a great line to score.
Jack Sinfield added the conversion but 10 minutes later was off target as Leeds notched a second try. This one came from Edgell who showed great pace on the back of a goal line dropout.
After a slow start for the home side, St Helens got on the board five minutes later when Dayon Sambou set up Keane Gilford go over for their first try which was converted by Will Roberts.
Five minutes later the were level after good play from Roberts set Ben Lane however this time Roberts was off target with the conversion.
It seemed that the teams would be going into the second half level until Edgell recreated his first try with great pace to make it 16-10 at the break.
However, it didn’t take long for the Saints to draw level again with Roberts, who had a terrific game, setting up Nathan Bannerman to score with Roberts levelling the game with a goal.
The game then entered a tense 20 minutes where neither side was able to score. This period though was punctuated by a Jack Sinfield drop goal in the 63rd minute to make it 17-16 to Leeds.
Five minutes later Leeds looked to have scored a decisive try when the brilliant and powerful Will Gatus timed his pass masterfully to put Kyden Frater over but crucially Sinfield missed the conversion attempt leaving just five points between the two sides.
This meant that when Saints prop George Delaney powered over to score under the sticks that it looked as though the game was set to go in favour of the Saints especially when Roberts nailed the simple conversion.
But there was another twist in this tale with Sinfield nailing a second drop goal to make it 22-22 and it stayed that way with Roberts unable to return the favour with a drop goal of his own.
Thus, the contest entered extra time setting up Sinfield for a hat-trick of drop goals though it didn’t come as his effort was blocked but it would fall in Leeds’ favour with the ball being spun wide where Frater to score in the corner to win the game in the most dramatic way possibly in golden point.